DAVAO CITY–The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)has expressed its concern over the growing number of drug-related prisoners which might further congest the jails in the region. Over the past weeks, thousands of persons have been rounded up or surrendered to authorities that brought concern to the BJMP on the jail congestion of the region.
Jail Senior Inspector Robert Gutico, community relations service head of the BJMP-XI, said that he is “hopeful” that not all surrenderees will be turned over in BJMP.
“Hopefully hindi lahat ng nagsurrender maturn-over sa amin kasi kung pagbabasehan natin yung sa Tagum City na nagsurrender, ang Tagum may dalawang jail na maliliit lang, pagnapunta yun sa amin, hindi ko alam saan ilalagay (Hopefully not all the surrenderees will be turn over to the BJMP because if we will base it on the number of surrenderees in Tagum City where they only have two small jails, I don’t really know where will I put them),” he said.
Last July 9, a total of 4,064 persons involved in illegal drug trade surrendered in Tagum City.
In Davao City, Gutico said that the jails are now full, “The ideal capacity of the Davao City jail is only 800, now we have almost 3,000 male prisoners.”
“Hindi pa kasali yung mga preso na babae na nasa kabilang facility ng Davao City jail lalo na ngayon na ang kababaehan natin dumadami din yung involve sa drugs(Female prisoners are not yet included and they have a separate facility, but even now, female drug-related cases are increasing),” Gutico said.
He added that 85 percent of the female prisoners at the facility are involved in drugs.
“For several years, tumataas talaga yung krimen na napunta sa amin ng drugs kaya ini-expect talaga namin taon-taon na pataas ng pataas pa yan (For several years, there is an annual increase of drug-related crimes in the region),” he said.
Gutico said that since the Dangerous Drug Act of 2002 passed, there is already a 25 percent annual increase of drug-related cases here in the region.
“For example the Davao City jail last year, September, meron na po tayong 1,800 na jail population jan. yung pumasok po yung October to December, pumatak po tayo ng 2,600 and 90 percent doon drug related yung kaso nila (For example the Davao City Jail September last year, there is already 1,800 prisoners in jail and on October to December there was already a total of 2,600 prisoners and 90 percent of those are in drug-related cases),” he said.
As of now, Gotico said that on the congestion rate, the leading jail facility is the Montevista District Jail in Compostela Valley with a congestion rate of 121 percent “considering that they only have four cells but their prisoners reached up to 400 prisoners when in fact its should cater 30 prisoners which is very large already.”
Gotico said that next to Montevista is the Davao City jail that has a congestion rate of 602 percent.
“Maliit-liit lang na congestion rate ay ang Davao city jail female jail, yung isa sa dalawang presohan natin na pang babae na 75% and the rest na po ng mga jails natin sa rehiyon ang pumapatong sa mga mahigit 100 percent congestion rate (Among the jail facilities in region 11, one of the Davao City female jail here has the smallest congestion rate with 75 percent while the rest have 100 percent and up),” he said.
Gotico said that “if ever there will be an increase of our budget this year for the construction of additional jails, it will be a help.” (davaotoday.com)